Study sparks flurry of research in canine, human obesity | View AVMA's video on preventing obesity in pets | Algal bloom poisoning sea lions, other animals along Calif. coast
May 19, 2017
Animal Health SmartBrief
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Veterinary Medicine Update
Study sparks flurry of research in canine, human obesity
Study sparks flurry of research in canine, human obesity.
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Canine and human waistlines are expanding, and researchers are working to understand the drivers and consequences of obesity in both species by focusing on similarities such as genetic underpinnings, as well as key differences, like the fact that portly dogs are less prone to diabetes than their human counterparts. Findings that a section of a gene dubbed POMC is missing in certain dogs and associated with appetite and obesity have sparked a flurry of interest among scientists who hope to apply the findings to treatment of humans.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (5/16) 
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Algal bloom poisoning sea lions, other animals along Calif. coast
The Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach, Calif., has rescued 40 adult female sea lions sick from exposure to the neurotoxin domoic acid since April 4 amid a larger-than-usual algal bloom, and 26 of the animals have died. Marine mammals are exposed when consuming fish such as sardines and anchovies, and pregnant females are particularly vulnerable because of how much they eat, but other species including birds and shellfish are also suffering.
Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)/Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, Calif.) (5/17) 
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Veterinarian, Colo. State U. team help veterans care for pets
Veterinarian Aubrey Lavizzo noticed that veterans facing tough times often forgo their well-being to help their pets. Dr. Lavizzo wanted to help veterans, many of whom depend on their pets for emotional and physical support, so he provides free veterinary services at the Ainsley Price Day of Service for Veterans in collaboration with the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, which will also contribute veterinary care.
Colorado Public Radio (5/18) 
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Sneezeweed poses threat to livestock, experts say
Toxicologist Cat Barr of Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab says small-headed sneezeweed plants are flowering in parts of Texas, and when the plants bloom they pose a threat to sheep, goats, cattle, mules and horses. Weakness, vomiting, staggering, diarrhea, bloating and grinding of teeth can occur within hours of consumption, and even small quantities can be fatal.
San Antonio Express-News (tiered subscription model) (5/18) 
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A new standard of care for veterinarians
Veterinarians across the U.S. are reaching for rapid, effective allergic itch relief that gives them valuable time to determine the underlying cause of canine allergic pruritus. Learn more about a first-line treatment that eases dogs suffering and strengthens the human-animal bond. Watch case study videos>>
Animal News
Veterinarian and rescue team save horse stuck in mud
Florida veterinarian Alexandra Urban, local firefighters and others rescued a horse stuck in deep, thick mud and unable to free itself. Dr. Urban sedated the horse to facilitate the rescue, then monitored the animal's vital signs and administered fluids.
ABC News (5/16) 
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Ill. veterinarians give public a glimpse of their work
Members of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association volunteered at the recent Vet for a Day event at Historic Wagner Farm in Glenview, Ill., in an effort to give the public a chance to see what veterinary medicine is all about. Among the animal health experts who participated were veterinarian David Cohen, who taught children how to appropriately approach and act around dogs, and veterinarian Heidi Pulito, who demonstrated stitching.
Chicago Tribune (tiered subscription model)/Pioneer Press newspaper group (Glenview, Ill.) (free registration) (5/16) 
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Gaza pet owners concerned about dog-walking ban
Hamas recently banned dog walking in Gaza Strip city streets and other populated areas, purportedly to "protect our women and children," a spokesman said. Local dog ownership has flourished in recent years, and veterinarian Imad Morad said he is hearing from owners who are concerned their pets may become unhealthy and depressed, yet many are afraid to bring their dogs to his clinic because they fear violating the ban.
The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (5/18) 
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Other News
Policy Watch
Texas bill would toughen animal cruelty penalties
If a proposed bill passes the Texas House and is signed into law, certain acts of violent animal cruelty would warrant a third-degree felony charge carrying a penalty of two to 10 years in prison. The bill also addresses a loophole that permitted some suspects to avoid prosecution in animal abuse cases.
Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (5/18) 
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AVMA in the News
Not all dogs are meant to be running buddies, veterinarians say
Not all dogs are meant to be running buddies, veterinarians say
(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Animal Medical Center veterinarians Richard Goldstein and Pamela Schwartz say owners must consider breed before looking to their dog as a running partner. Brachycephalic breeds are generally not good running partners because they can quickly overheat, dogs that might have orthopedic disorders also should not run, veterinarians say, and former AVMA President Dr. Joseph Kinnarney says pets may burn their paws on the pavement, too.
The Atlantic online (5/17) 
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AVMA Today
AVMA Convention: Get all your veterinary CE under 1 roof
The 2017 AVMA Convention, held this year in Indianapolis from July 21-25, is the veterinary conference that offers all your continuing education needs in one location. Earn more than 40 CE hours from over 700 sessions, including interactive and hands-on learning formats. And with the most in-depth practice management program at any veterinary conference, the AVMA Convention is a must-attend for veterinarians, practice managers and owners alike. View a video about the CE available at the 2017 AVMA Convention.
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Great artists are people who find the way to be themselves in their art. Any sort of pretension induces mediocrity in art and life alike.
Margot Fonteyn,
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The news summaries appearing in Animal Health SmartBrief are based on original information from news organizations and are produced by SmartBrief, Inc., an independent e-mail newsletter publisher. The AVMA is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AVMA. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by the AVMA of the site or the information presented on the site. Questions and comments should be directed to SmartBrief at
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